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Martin Luther King, Jr. - Threats/attacks against

King visits Yale University; delivers "The Future of Integration"

In New Haven, Connecticut, King meets with Yale University president Whitney Griswold and conducts an interview prior to delivering “The Future of Integration” at Yale’s Woolsey Hall. During King’s speech, police receive a bomb threat but no bomb is found. Later, King’s hosts throw a surprise birthday party for him at the university’s Pierson College.

Freedom Rides

During the spring of 1961, student activists from the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) launched the Freedom Rides to challenge segregation on interstate buses and bus terminals. Traveling on buses from Washington, D.C., to Jackson, Mississippi, the riders met violent opposition in the Deep South, garnering extensive media attention and eventually forcing federal intervention from John F. Kennedy’s administration. Although the campaign succeeded in securing an Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) ban on segregation in all facilities under their jurisdiction, the Freedom Rides fueled existing tensions between student activists and Martin Luther King, Jr., who publicly supported the riders, but did not participate in the campaign.

MIA approves security measures; relocates headquarters; King presides at MIA-NAACP meeting

King and the MIA executive board approve a security patrol at mass meetings and agree to move MIA headquarters from the Alabama Negro Baptist Center to Abernathy’s First Baptist Church. King presides at an MIA-NAACP meeting at the Baptist Center.

King's home bombed

At 9:15 P.M., while King is speaking before two thousand congregants at a mass meeting at First Baptist Church, his home is bombed. Coretta Scott King and their daughter, Yolanda Denise, are not injured. King addresses a large crowd that gathers outside the house, pleading for nonviolence. The city commission promises police protection for King and offers a $500 reward for the capture and conviction of the persons responsible for the bombing. The Kings stay at the home of Dexter deacon J. T. Brooks. Late that night King, Sr., his daughter Christine, son A.

Robinson, Cleveland Lowellyn

In late 1958 Martin Luther King declined an invitation by union official Cleveland Robinson to speak in New York during Negro History Week. In his written response, he noted, “I want you to know that I have been deeply moved by your dedication and your humanitarian concern. You are doing a grand job for all of us” (King, 15 November 1958). Robinson served as one of King’s advisors on the labor movement and as a force against racism in labor unions.


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